Artists For Kids: Alma Thomas

After working in art education for several years, Alma Thomas enrolled at Howard University in Washington, DC to study costume design. She became the first African American woman to hold a fine arts degree. Following a long career as a teacher, she retired to focus on her own creativity and art.

Thomas’s work was included in the important show Contemporary Black Artists in America, held in 1971 at the Whitney Museum in New York. She was the first African American woman to have a solo art exhibition at the same museum. Three years after she died, a retrospective exhibition was held at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American Art. Besides a distinguished career teaching art for kids, her work can be found in many major museums.

What Kids Can Learn From Thomas
(Art for Kids)

Alma Thomas loved children and she had an important role in art education. But, she also loved to learn. She was interested in space programs and she often painted from satellite photographs. She often looked at her garden and watched its changes. She could hear the wind playing music in the trees, and she loved to watch the grass color change after the rain. She enjoyed all these changes that inspired her artwork at the same time that she was learning about nature. Her creativity was inspired by science and nature.

Thomas loved to smile and she liked to paint with bright colors. Primary colors were often used in her artwork to make her paintings look happy and vibrant. Thomas brings art for kids by inspiring them to look closely at nature and to use patterns and colors to create art that makes them happy. Can you see the flowers in your neighborhood singing and smiling on a sunny day?

Alma Thomas: Painter, inspired by “Iris, Tulips, Jonquils and Crocuses”

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